An assessment of the reliability of dose coefficients for intakes of radionuclides by members of the public

Matthew Puncher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper summarises work undertaken on behalf of the Environment Agency for England to quantify uncertainties resulting from internal exposures to a number of radionuclides considered significant because of their anthropogenic origin, namely: 238U, 226Ra, 239Pu, 241Am, 137Cs, 90Sr, 131I, 129I and 3H. Uncertainties in the biokinetic models that are used to calculate the retention and excretion of radionuclides are derived in order to calculate distributions of effective dose per unit intake following their inhalation or ingestion by members of the UK public. The central values and ranges of the distributions are used to inform the derivation of uncertainty factors (UFs) for the different dose coefficients, which can be used to assess reliability. These represent uncertainties inherent in the structures of the biokinetic models and their parameter values. The inferred UF values are typically around 2-3 for ingestion and 2-6 for inhalation for all age groups, and are comparable to UF values inferred from published studies. It is instructive to consider these ranges alongside the likely levels of exposure that are expected from the radionuclides considered (the microsievert range) and the dose limit of planned exposures for members of the public (1000 μSv).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-643
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Radiological Protection
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • Effective dose coefficients
  • Internal emitters
  • Uncertainty analysis

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